October 30, 2006
Getting a Jump on LBS with JumpTap
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Message from the Editor: Getting a Jump on LBS with JumpTap


Welcome to GISWeekly! This week, Autodesk announced a strategic alliance with JumpTap, a pioneer in mobile search technology, to use the Autodesk LocationLogic platform to offer location based mobile search services to mobile operators in North America and throughout Europe. JumpTap has been involved with the Location Services Developer Program at Autodesk. Read about the LBS movement in this week’s Industry News.


GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Financials, People, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.


GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at


Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor




Industry News



Getting a Jump on LBS with JumpTap

by Susan Smith


Location based services have taken off over the past six to ten months, according to Joe Astroth, Autodesk’s vice president of Autodesk’s Location Services Division. The 2.5 billion people who have mobile phones are the target audience, not to mention those uncounted who will join the crowd in the near future.


This week, Autodesk announced a strategic alliance with JumpTap, a pioneer in mobile search technology, to use the Autodesk LocationLogic platform to offer location based mobile search services to mobile operators in North America and throughout Europe. JumpTap has been involved with the Location Services Developer Program at Autodesk.


According to Laurie Cutts of JumpTap, JumpTap will offer mobile operators Autodesk’s LocationLogic geoservices platform to deliver maps and directions as a standalone experience or integrated with JumpTap’s local search results. Users will benefit from the ability to view search results as locations on a map accompanied with driving directions on their mobile phones.


JumpTap is integrating results from SuperPages.com, enabling subscribers to look for specific category or business names, based on a user-defined ZIP code, city or address. Previously searched locations are made accessible without requiring the user to re-enter information, and call completion will be offered to users once they have found the business they are looking for. Paid search listings for local businesses also will be displayed alongside the main search results.


“In addition, JumpTap is integrating white page listings from WhitePages.com, allowing users to search for people by last name, with or without the person’s first name,” said Cutts. “These searches can also be combined with the person’s ZIP code and/or city. Once information is found, users can save this information in their address book. Like JumpTap’s yellow page search capabilities, call completion will also be offered.”


JumpTap is presently offering the LocationLogic capabilities through their carrier partners. To try it you can go to the


In May, Autodesk announced that Disney Mobile would use Autodesk software and professional services to bring their forthcoming Family Locator wireless location services to market. Disney Mobile is leveraging Autodesk’s award-winning LocationLogic platform and software applications to enable parents to locate their children’s handsets using GPS technology.


Family Locator is part of Disney Mobile’s Family Center, a set of integrated features that also includes Family Monitor, Call Control and Family Alert! wireless services. The Family Center features allow parents to:


-Set spending allowances and track usage for voice minutes, text messaging, picture messaging and downloadable content

-Determine the hours of the day and days of the week when kids can use their phones

-Program restricted and always-on phone numbers to manage with whom kids may communicate

-Prioritize important family messages


After a lot of hard work, Astroth said that the consumer space is offering smart location based services to a broad mass market. “There are three reasons this is happening,” said Astroth:


“1) the handsets are finally here, with color displays, sizable so you can put a map on it and read it.

2) the internet – we’ve crossed through that wireless broadband inflection point of 56K.

3) having the GPS enabled handsets so we get better precision and accuracy of the location information.”


The three top U.S. carriers that have deployed location based services are Nextel, with one branded service (there is still the old Nextel network that is a standalone from the Sprint CDMA network), and Sprint Nextel with their one branded mobile locator application which continues to be the leading mobile resource application in North America offered by a carrier. The Sprint side of Sprint Nextel has two branded applications. Verizon leads the pack with three branded applications: the Chaperone service, which is their family minder service, the VZ Navigator service for personal navigation and their Field Force management solution in two different types. “We are now fielding a lot of
questions now because the carriers are now launching services with their name on them,” Astroth pointed out. “People want to know how much money LBS is making, and we can’t tell that at this point.” Astroth did say that the amount of money the carriers are spending on TV advertising was significant.


Since May, the number of carrier branded services has increased significantly. “There has been a lot of press coverage, especially around family minder services,” said Astroth.


In addition, carriers have decided to localize search in such a way that it retains their brand. “You have carriers that are now launching their own branded mobile search solutions,” Astroth said. “A key component to that mobile search is having location intelligence associated with it. Our new partnership with JumpTap just launched their mobile search engine on their deck branded by the carrier.” Information relevant to where you are at a given moment can be delivered instantly with this service.


GPS is becoming well known, Astroth said, noting that GPS is prevalent in three areas:


1) Personal navigation on the handset, 2) family minder services and 3) small to medium sized businesses. VZ Navigator leads the market, family minder services still have some privacy and security concerns associated with them. Small to medium sized businesses want mobile resource management to keep track of workers and deliver greater customer service.


Autodesk views LBS as an enabling technology. “Our philosophy is to get it in the network, then start lighting up various services,” Astroth explained. “The carriers were getting into search independently of LBS. LBS platforms were getting embedded into these networks and lighting them up with location intelligence.” It made sense to make a mobile search service location smart. Later on, users can look forward to more location-centric applications.


There is a big difference in the user base in Europe and Asia as opposed to the U.S. In the U.S., Sprint, Nextel, Verizon and some smaller carriers have chosen to use the GPS chip on the handsets to do E-911. “We now have over 160 million GPS enabled handsets,” claimed Astroth. “In Europe they don’t have an E-911 mandate, but the chips are not in GSM handsets, so Cingular and T-Mobile cannot deliver compelling location based services, because they don’t have handsets or mobile phones with GPS chips on them. In both Korea and Japan, their handsets have GPS and they’re network supported. So Korea is ahead of the U.S. with a tremendous uptake in LBS. Japan
also has a very high uptake in commercial LBS.”


Astroth expects that more carriers will follow JumpTap’s example in order to offer this same capability of adding the LocationLogic platform and network connectivity to carrier networks to make their location services smart.


Top News of the Week


Google Earth celebrates the election season with the launch of the 2006 Google Earth Election Guide.


Conceived by Google Earth engineers who found it difficult to find aggregated election information online about races country-wide, the 2006 Google Earth Election Guide serves as an easily accessible resource for users to find information about candidates, voter registration, and campaign financing for the November 7th elections.


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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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